TORONTO -- The Chicago Bulls offered a respite for the Lakers, but the Toronto Raptors are on the hunt for the top seed in the Eastern Conference and played like it on Thursday night.
The Raptors beat the Lakers, 111-98, leading for nearly the entire game. Although the Lakers made a push in the second quarter and took a two-point lead, that was the only time they truly threatened the Raptors.
At halftime, they trailed 65-54 and Alex Caruso was the Lakers' leading scorer with 14 points. Caruso finished the game with 16 points.
Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points with eight rebounds and four assists for the Raptors, while UCLA alumnus Norman Powell scored 20 points. The Lakers were led by LeBron James, who scored 29 points in 32 minutes. He also grabbed four rebounds and dished out six assists. No other starter scored more than 13 points, with Kyle Kuzma and Reggie Bullock each contributing seven points and JaVale McGee scoring nine with nine rebounds.
The Lakers have lost six of their last seven games and fell to 31-37 with Thursday's loss. The Raptors improved to 49-20.
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